Monday, July 05, 2010

Twelve Minutes

It started when I took a temp job at one of the mega-retailers--Target/Kmart/Walmart/Costco--and had to be at work at 5:30 a.m. It was my first day, and I got there at around 5:15. But I was so tired I had to lay down. I found a cot with a yellow blanket and laid down and fell asleep. Suddenly realizing I was going to be late, I fought to wake up but could not open my eyes. No matter how I tried, they wouldn't open! Finally I managed to pry them open and saw it was 5:27. I got out of bed, having no idea where I was supposed to go to report for work, remembered that I hadn't put on my shoes when I got out of bed, and hurried back to get them, panicked that I was going to be late.

And the dream ended and I was reality-awake, listening to the plaintive meowlings of my cat, Spirit, from the other side of my bedroom door. It was 6:30...very late for me...and I realized Spirit had been carrying on every couple of minutes since he first woke me at around 5:30. This, too, was unusual, but not unheard of.

I got up, opened the door on my way to the bathroom, something I seldom do, and thus breaking the morning's routine, which begins with a rub/pet/writhe ritual with Spirit. He, like me, is a creature of habit and expects a vigorous rub/pet/writhe the instant the door is opened. Frustrated by my inexplicable refusal to conform to his expectations, he walked impatiently directly--and I do mean directly--in front of me, necessitating me to, in effect, wade through a cat with every step. When I got to the bathroom, he showed his displeasure by wrapping his paws around my bare leg and nipping at my calf, forcing me to shake him off like a wet dog shaking off water.

Returned to the bedroom, once again wading through Spirit every step of the way, and sat on the edge of the bed so that Spirit could flop down on the floor barely within reach to be petted, moving closer only when he realized that I would not otherwise be able to perform my duties adequately. Spirit does not merely lie calmly there to be petted; he writhes around, flopping around like a just-landed fish, stretching out to his full three-foot-plus extended-paw-to-extended-paw length to make sure that I don't miss a spot. In mid-writhe he will stretch his front paws out while raising his rear-end off the floor for a vigorous rub.

And all this time I was struggling to recover from the strangeness of the dream, feeling the same odd detached-from-reality sensations as the dream had engendered. (I know, I know...I'm always detached from reality, but you know what I mean.)

At last our rub/pet/writhe session over--at least as far as I'm concerned--I got up to go to the kitchen to make coffee, once again having to semi-shuffle to avoid stepping directly on Spirit. I got to the living room to find huge chunks of my large spider plant--which I've had and carefully nurtured for a number of years--scattered around the room. Picking up one large piece by the torn-out roots, I swatted Spirit with the tendrils/leaves/whatever-they're-called which, of course, he barely felt but sent him scurrying, shocked that I would so viciously attack him for absolutely no reason. (Cats raise the concept of short-term memory to new heights.)

I then tried--vainly, I fear--to put the torn out sections back into the pot, and got a broom and dustpan to pick up the other pieces and bits of dirt.

I looked at the clock. It was 6:42. I had been awake all of twelve minutes. With that much fun and frolic in the first twelve minutes, I can hardly wait to see what the rest of the day may have in store.

Well, at least I don't have to worry about today's blog.

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